Virtual Education: Teaching Media Studies in Second Life

David Kurt Herold

Abstract


Following the adoption of the virtual world Second Life by tertiary educational institutions worldwide, a limited study was conducted at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to test the feasibility and desirability of employing a virtual environment to conduct classes. 30 tutorials were held in Second Life over a period of five weeks in support of a course on Media Studies with 60 students. Feedback was gathered continuously from students and the lecturer via informal interviews, feedback forms, and participant observation. The results proved most of the initial hypotheses wrong, but supported the value of virtual teaching and learning in a well-supported institutional environment. The paper emphasises the need to integrate virtual environments into the educational framework of courses and for a careful consideration of the educational aims and uses of virtual worlds within specific courses.

Keywords


Second Life; higher education; tutorials

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The full website for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found at: http://jvwresearch.org